Narra, Palawan: Mayor Lucy Demaala of the Municipality of Narra and Mike Wootton of Langogan Power Corp. (LPC) signed on Monday a Memorandum of Agreement for the development of the 7-megawatt hydropower facility at the BatangBatang River in Barangay Princess Urduja, Narra, Palawan.
The agreement represents another step toward the establishment of a renewable energy infrastructure in the country and a counter to the damaging effects of climate change. The Narra hydropower facility will produce about 32GWh/year of clean energy, allowing a reduction of fossil fuel emissions by 25,693 tons per year.
Director Mario Marasigan, head of the Department of Energy – Renewable Energy Management Bureau, welcomed the co-operation between the Narra Government and the LPC saying “this is the kind of power sector development cooperation that Palawan needs” with the Municipality supporting a clean and a more economic power generation.
International Finance Corporation (IFC) Country Head Jesse Ang, who attended the Agreement signing, ceremony said the IFC is interested in supporting hydropower projects directly or through its guarantee facilities.
“These hydro projects provide crucial energy resources to the support continued growth of tourism in Palawan,” he added.
Jenny Monteagudo of LPC sees the partnership as something that may motivate the Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco) to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) for clean energy. She said that the PPA is an objective the LPC has been pursuing in the past years as it aims to provide electricity at less than half the cost the Paleco is currently paying for electricity generation. The hydropower is offered at the unsubsidized rate of P 6.5896/kWh against an average subsidized-price P14.0688 to P14.75/kWh.
President of LGUGC MsLydia Orial said that LGUGC together with the IFC and World Bank would support LPC’s development of the project and welcomes this significant clean energy contribution to Palawan’s electricity system.
The BatangBatang hydropower project is estimated to provide 25 to 30 percent of the total demand of the Palawan main grid, thus removing the need for a controversial coal fired power plant.
Anthony Shibley Chairman of Delta P, a longstanding diesel power provider to Paleco, said “we welcome the addition of renewable hydro power to the Paleco system. It will help in system balancing and provide power that is not dependent on imported fuels.”
A hydropower project investment will allow Paleco to save at least P180M per year.
Bart Duff, president of the Palawan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said his group earlier endorsed the LPC hydro project as this provides affordable and clean energy in Palawan, a stand seconded by Gerthie Anda whose group, Palawan Alliance for Clean Energy, is against the establishment of a coal-powered plant in the island.
The Narra project is timed to produce electricity for Palawan in 2016 and in Langogan by 2017.
Mayor Demaala thanked LPC for bringing the investment to Narra and assured the full support of the LGU and as the head of the Palawan League of Municipalities the full support of all municipalities in Palawan for LPC’s further hydro-project developments.